Friday, 30 November 2007

Missing Masterpiece

When I'm at work, I use Microsoft Windows as my primary operating system. As anyone who routinely uses a Mac will tell you, this is something of a frustrating experience. Things that should just work just don't. Don't get me wrong, this isn't Microsoft's fault, and it's not even Microsoft's software causing the problem at the moment. It just seems to me sometimes that there's just a general apathy about the platform. Developers of software don't necessarily think carefully before they act.

Case in point, I've just been writing a blog post in Ecto on the train. Of course, working in the IT industry, I'm a wily old goat, and I'm thinking: "Ah ha, much safer to write it offline, no danger of losing the post half way through because of a shaky Internet connection! Oh how clever I am..." ... not, as it would turn out. It would appear that Ecto has a few subtle bugs around posting that means if your internet connection is flaky, it sometimes looses the post that's being uploaded. This has just happened to me twice in as many attempts. I think it's because it thinks it has uploaded successfully, so it then refreshes its local article list, but sadly my masterpiece isn't on the server.

Being a wily old goat, I thought I'd have a bit of a whine about it. Now, doesn't that feel better?

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Eclipse Process Framework

So, the other week, I'm beavering away at work, and we're talking about how nice it would be to be able to document our SOA methodology in a way that allows newbies and old hands alike to learn it, implement it and most importantly, feed back and refine it, because anyone who tells you their process is perfect is missing the point.

Someone (rather helpfully, as it turns out) pointed out the Eclipse Process Framework. They'd dabbled with it in the past, and found it to be a rather clever piece of kit. You'll have to forgive any slip-ups in terminology or accuracy; I'm the new boy in EPF's playground. As I understand it, EPF allows you to:

  • Document activities and work flows in an extensible way.
  • Document the roles involved in your process (Project Manager, Tester, Tea-boy), and what they are responsible for.
  • Document the purpose, structure for artefacts, as well as managing their templates.
  • Document the concepts and general purpose content to help people who are just starting out with your process.

All of this content is packaged up into re-usable 'process libraries' that allow you to combine different processes together (so, for example, you could create an OpenUP and SCRUM version of your SOA methodology, simply by pulling together the 'SOA', 'OpenUP', and 'SCRUM' libraries into two different processes.

Once you've done all of this, EPF lets you create publishing configurations to define how your process is published for others to read (either in a static web site, or as a .war file for deployment to your favorite Servlet Spinner). Interestingly, EPF also apparently allows you to publish your content to a Wiki, allowing the poor buggers who actually have to work with your process to feed back and tweak the content as they learn.

As if to prove the point, the EPF boys have document two popular methodologies for your reading pleasure:

Take a look, see what you think. I'd be interested to hear your comments...

100% True (honest) SOA Facts

A colleague helpfully provided me with the following link yesterday, thinking I could do with some enlightenment. 

Despite his assurance that they're 100% verified and accurate my Spidey Senses are still tingling...

Good morning and welcome...

So, I'm sat on a train, watching the morning slide by on my way to work. I'm trying to set up a blog. I'm waiting for the signal on my 3G card, entering then name for the blog. Signal check? Check. Go! Oh wait, it's gone again. Rinse, repeat. 27 minutes later, and I have the beginnings of a new blog. One day, we'll all communicate through telepathy. Until then, there's GPRS. Anyway, welcome to the dawn of yet another new blog. I work in the IT industry as a technical architect, primarily on SOA solutions. For anyone who doesn't know their SOA from their Sushi, SOA stands for Service Oriented Architecture. If you're still in the dark (you lucky things), I'll explain another day. When I'm not working, I indulge myself by taking photos, listening to music and watching the world slide by at 7:33am. Good morning, and welcome.